Thursday, October 28, 2010

From Here to Tim Buck Two

I have been traveling in all kinds of worlds. One bus to the next. Hopping from one bus corner to the other and walking this or that street. That seems to be a good way to sum up this adventure for the last 18 weeks. At least, I have not faced inches and feet of snow and ice and cold yet.
That will soon be coming around the corner...before too long!! As that song title rings in my mind=a little off key.

The towns of travel and even to Tim Buck Two are interesting. The common aspects of buildings become rather curious and take on a special history. I looked at some historic buildings in my city of Bridgeport and since I was not in a rush, their beauty shined forth. I enjoyed seeing how blended that they were and of a distinct design during the period. How they stood out. I walked through a little park as I saw a tent, wondering what would be there. It was a vegetable and fruit stand of the local growers.
When I was looking at the organic produce, I saw the beauty of the buildings that I did not key in on as much as I have done in the past.

The same lesson can also apply to our losses. Three come to mind in my life. 51 weeks ago, I lost dad and the world seems a little different now to me.

I also lost a couple of pastors that were dear to me as they moved with their families to other assignments.

And I lost the anchor of my job that was always there for me. Even when I knew a cloud surrounded me of uncertainty for the last few years, I kept going to battle doing the very best that I could do.

As I reflect on these losses, I have found it necessary to look intently at the beauty of the door. The brightness of the colors in the autumn trees, the smiles on people's faces and just the need to hang out with different people- to truly understand and treasure the diversity that this life truly offers all of us!!!

Now I just have to keep traveling and criss crossing the roads towards Tim Buck Two, just as Christian and his friends did in Pilgrim's Progress towards the Celestial City=utilizing the character traits that were found in the people and circumstances along life's journeys.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

God is our God who enables us to reach the realms of our dreams. To reach the depths of our desires.
He gives us wings to our dreams and prayers.

And he gives us comfort to ease our sorrow and joy to soothe the disappointments of our lives.
Lives that bring friction and are not always pleasant to be around at times.

Yet God also gives us unutterable joy. I had the privilege this weekend to work side-by-side with the corporate sponsorship of People's United Bank as I linked arms and served the Bethel Recovery Center in Bridgeport by putting out a few programs on chairs and opening the pens and the raffle ticket bundles.
And helping decorate the tables with the fall centerpieces of the pumpkins , pine cones, and candles with glass globes sculpted onto a nicely stained plate.

I saw lives that were transformed from abuse to beauty and lives that blended well within the crowded room. It was hard to identify one life from that of the other.
It can be a little easier to identify changed lives when in a butterfly garden for the chrystalis is gone and the butterflies have emerged from the cocoon. I am sure there is the shell casings that are left behind, but from that great glory shines forth.

it is all because of the great selfless love of the founder, Janice, who always gives a good embrace to those who suffer and also brings forth a team of individuals into the core of the room.

The suffering that the world faces is not just confined to the struggles at home of which some of these women have faced. Struggles of which I have no clue to the depth. Yet, I can understand on some level their pain having gone through struggles on the par of growing up in the handicapped world.

Having also seen a former member of our congregation being reduced to the status of being totally dependent on her husband. This woman who created deep melodies on the organ. Now having her life orchestrated by others.

And even in my life, being orchestrated from the love of others, as I have been totally dependent on others at times to bring me from point a to point Z in my job search.

And to have been given a tremendous gift to bless others this weekend as I received four front row seats to the circus with a great view to give a friend and her niece and another friend the chance to see the circus for either the first time or just because they really wanted to see it this year.

So I thank you Lord for giving me a fantastic weekend and giving me a chance to have fun and see life through another 5 year old's eyes.

Yet, Jesus, that is exactly what this faith journey is. To see life through your eyes. Lord, help me to do that as well!!!!
Thank you Lord!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The triple Life

When I became a believer in Jesus, I became three times what I was with the Father , Son and Holy Spirit living within me.
When Christ went to the cross and died for me, he influenced my thinking. The Trinity is a concept of mystery but also that of love everlasting.

And I am very grateful that God spared my cousin on 9-11-01 and he was able to produce a son and daughter through his wife and that also blessed our extended family with this triple life as well.

This inspiration came as I watched the show on the History International Channel of one of the security personnel for Morgan Stanley, Rick Rescorla. Of the bravery of this man to attend to his staff to make sure all but 6 got out alive. It is this dedication of teamwork to the very end that matters.
It is the same teamwork that was in place for my cousin's company in that they all made it out as well.

Just as in our lives, we need to help each other out of the tough binds that we find ourselves in so that we can make our world a better place.

I vow to do that in my life as I reach out to the handicapped and unemployed who surround me. Lord, help me to be like that of Rick who is dedicated and goes beyond what is expected of oneself.

And to not take others for granted. To respect them. To stay in touch in a better way.

Things i need to remember , especially as our world crumbles around us. Needing ways to shore up the world. Or to alleviate the pain for when the world does not stand up as well but collapses.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Walking through the dusking hours

Today, I took on an adventure with my job search.
It has been a little while since I have sweated during this process. Back in July I produced a ton of sweat, waltzing my way through the town and having an experience that I have not had for a few months.

The colors of the sky increasingly sharpened towards bright oranges and yellows. With a nice and brief afterglow-one that I have experienced often while vacationing on the coast of Maine.

The adventuresome part for me was taking this small 1 mile hike off my local thoroughfare. I felt that I could take a short cut if I went a little differently from the directions that I was given by the gurus at MapQuest. They often give longer directions so I thought I outwittted them at this very moment.

As I took my supposed short cut, the sky began to darken some and I was clinging to the side of the road with my occasional hand gestures to the side to let cars know I was along the side of the road. I heard a few dogs barking nearby and was reassured by one of the neighbors that they were contained..

I briefly made out in the distance that there were sidewalks and crossed the street to find out that they soon ended. The sides of the road were slanted and were a bit hillhy,

I value having times of independence when I am in full control and don't really have to rely on anyone else for direction. When I got back on course through the detour that I took, I looked at the time and saw only 10 minutes until my meeting and I am stuck 1/2 mile from my destination. I reached out to a surrounding neighbor and told of my dilemma which brought me to my destination safely.

If only when I was a teen and reached out when I was half way to Newagen and told my parents I walked to local bookstore, but back then I was up for the challenge in the daylight.
But tis a bit harder when it is getting pitch black and the church I expected to see did not surface,
Thanks be to Him that I got the final push to my destination.

The same is to true with my walk with Jesus in that I will go for days when i am slightly lost and not tell someone. Just someone who will bring me back along my way. I often say that I will be fine when ultimately I will flounder and waste much needed time.

The valued lesson in all this is to plan better and reach out. Not to get in the middle of the swamp and flail about. But when in that swamp of life, raise your voice even in the darkness and be blessed when a car door opens and a journey can begin from someone's driveway. Better than wandering out in the wilderness and is a comfort to arrive safe and sound even while a little sweaty.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Crouching beyond the cage

As I was laying down taking a rest, I looked out from my bed and saw my world at a distance almost like that of being in a pen with the cage let down. Wanting to feel safe for the moment and not willing to let go of my surroundings that have become so comfortable for me.

Being in this realm of the unemployed for the 14th week is becoming the norm for me lately. As I have gone from one workshop to the next and as I have tried to figure out where the next desk of mine will be located. Whether deep within a building or high up on the 14th floor with a gorgeous window view or within a maze of cubicles. I have become accustomed to getting in the line at the department of labor and waiting to be served. Periodically, I hear the clerk shout out CT works to the left and department of labor to the right. I then chimed in, :To the left, to the right. which sets into memory a song/chant..
making me feel good.

As I have listened to the many stories of people's lives of what they have been going through at the moment, it provides me with a good perspective of how to portray bravery during those trying moments of their lives.

As I have experienced each era of my life, the environment that I have been in has influenced what I have been going through at the moment.

Just as when last year when my dad left my world, I had a hard time with that since I was close to my father. Even with my work, I felt close to it. It became my norm of how I experienced the world on a daily basis with my reading of the daily news while on the bus, taking the naps at particular times on the way home or just the daily interactions that I had with the passengers and the bus drivers. Yet, I do bring forth and continue the greetings that I exchanged with Paul of the Milford Transit District when I greeted him with Happy Wednesday or Happy Whatever day it was to whomever I come into contact with.

I have often gone into the local McDonalds to order the buck McChicken, 2 apple pies and sweet Iced tea. As I have watched from the vantage point of the restaurant with the hard plastic booths and the tables. Some of which have checker boards that are printed upon them.

As I attended a networking dinner, a friend who is a pastor of a local church, The Bridge, mentioned that he gives hot dogs away during the warmer weather as an outreach. As we were talking, we determined that is not exactly the business model of paying $100 for the dogs and taking $25.00 in from donations. I joked with Pastor Scott Warner of how he should collect a 4% salary from his parishoners. In return, Scott remarked, wow, how do you expect me to live on $1,200. a year.
I am going to have to check out this neighborhood wing ding and add it to reportoire of hot dog experiences that I have had over the years I have heard much lately on this outreach.